Thursday, May 19, 2011

God's Colorful Masterpiece

Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations... Matthew 28:18-19

A tsunami of thoughts flooded my mind as Anne and I sat in a room with a team of eight surgeons and nurses prior to them whisking my 15-year-old daughter off for surgery. That April day, just over a month ago, while Mary Courtney was sedated, I was in a fog. My thoughts ranged from, "How did end up here?" to "God, I know you love her more than I do." to "Could there have been a better time for all this to happen?" But then an observation grew from those moments that I can't shake to this day. It was an observation regarding the ethnic breakdown of her surgical team.

After doing their preoperative run-through, prior to rolling her away, I looked at the eight men and women who I was handing Mary Courtney over to. Not one was Anglo and represented on this team were five continents! Here on the Peninsula, truly the world is at our doorstep.

As followers of Jesus, how do we reflect the ethnically-integrated Kingdom of God and heart of Jesus? We must remember that the command of our Great Commission from Jesus (great in scope, great in cost, great in the best means of being the church we were called to be!) is to make disciples of the nations. Jesus was not referring to political nations but ethnic peoples. Literally the word for nations in the original language of the New Testament means ethnicities.

Making disciples from the ethnicities is counter-intuitive, faith-stretching and messy! We all need to be reminded that it is because men and women followed this Great Commission (not suggestion) obediently that the Gospel came to us. PCC, if we call Jesus Lord, we don't have an option. We must cross racial divides and be good news to people.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said it best: "Yes, I see the Church as the body of Christ. But, oh! How we have blemished and scarred that body through social neglect and through fear of being nonconformists." This weekend, in our Reboot series, Efrem Smith, our denomination's Pacific Southwest Conference superintendent and an incredible author and nationally renown communicator will speak to us around this very topic, challenging us to rethink the way we view and interact with people of different ethnicities. During our evening gathering, we will conduct a forum (a town hall meeting if you will) to dialogue deeper as a body around this vital topic. You won't want to miss it.

Bottom line: God is creating through His Church a beautiful tapestry of color; PCC is the canvas of His handiwork. We best display well His vast colorful masterpiece!

PS: God was gracious in my daughter's surgery. Miraculously, 10 days later she was in the dirt of Mexico serving with our high school mission team!